Being an author is tougher than it looks. There are still many people out there who think you write a book and that's it. They don't think about how much time and effort goes into the edits, the rewrites, the formatting, the cover designers or the people who work as part of a team with an author, shaping an author's book and molding it to what it is.
I'm lucky. I think I've got one of the best team an author can have. From my cover designer to my proof-reader to my Betas and editor and formatter.
Writing a novel these days isn't just about finishing it, signing off and handing it to an agent or a publisher in the hope you'll get published. No, it's so much more.
These days you can do it all yourself, without a publisher. There are authors out there who will tell you to even forget about a publishing contract and advise you to do it your way. It's about cutting out the middle man. I'm still a traditionalist. I still want an agent and I still want a publishing contract. Like I said, I'm a traditionalist.
But it hasn't stopped me from self publishing. Instead of waiting around for a publisher to notice me, I'm putting myself out there and saying, "Here I am, look at what I can do. Are you interested?" As far as I'm concerned, the best way to advertise yourself, is to put yourself into the market.
To do this, you need a team who will support you. I'm lucky. I have the most amazing base of people surrounding me and in networking have found friends for life. Fellow authors who believe in my work as much as they do their own. The same applies to me with them.
That's how the business works. As a writer, one of the biggest lessons I've learned is that social media is your friend (or enemy - your choice). Networking is a valuable asset. Without networking, I wouldn't have picked up my editor, my proofreading, my cover designer or some of my Betas. I wouldn't have found my amazing formatter and I wouldn't have picked up the endless source of information. Use it, but use it wisely.
90% of part of being an author is the writing - the edits and the rewrites. The other 10% of the time is the promoting. It's hard to get your foot in the door, but if you want to succeed in self publishing, you need to throw yourself out. There you need to place trust in others and let them work their magic. From the blog tours, to the bloggers who genuinely want to help you because they think you've got a book worth promoting and of course, the people you pay to get the job done.
Being an author is tough, but it's still the best job in the world.
The next few blog entries are part of a series called The People Behind the Author. This is my thanks to the tireless effort of the people who have made my job a little easier. They're the people who have become my 'team', my greatest supporters and the people I wouldn't trade for the world. They're my greatest assets.